He said the state Ministry of Transport was previously involved in an engagement session with the federal Ministry of Transport regarding the SBST programme, particularly on upgrading bus services in Kuching in order to promote public transportation usage in Kuching.
“Through the SBST programme, the bus services here will be upgraded, in line with the ministry’s initiative to promote the use of public transportation,” he told a press conference here today.
With that being said, he reiterated that the state Ministry of Transport will engage with local bus operators for their views on the way forward for the SBST programme in Kuching, while at the same time continuing to communicate with the federal Ministry of Transport on the details.
Lee also welcomed the RM209-million subsidy for rural air services (RAS), as it highlighted the need and importance of air connectivity between isolated settlements and major towns throughout Sarawak.
“In fact, RAS subsidy is not something new. MASWings is currently operating on this subsidy.
“We know that there are some places in Sarawak, especially the highland areas in Miri division, that are totally without road connectivity to nearby towns.
“Therefore, these rural communities are depending on rural air connectivity, which is the fastest way. With this subsidy, MASWings will be able to continue providing air services for them,” said Lee.
The Senadin assemblyman also applauded the allocation for wheelchair ramps and facilities to be built at seven airports throughout Sarawak and Sabah as it means that the federal government sees the need for wheelchair users.
“Wheelchair ramps are crucial for our airports and STOL-ports (short take-off and landing airports). The friendly facilities must be provided to all including the less fortunate people with restricted mobility.